Deviant Art’s Terms of Service

I received notification from Deviant Art that they’d updated their Terms of Service. How many of you ever read the Terms of Service? I’m trying to, more and more. The thing is, DA said “if you use the service after January 19, then you agree to the new terms,” but they sent that email at 10 a.m. on February 19. Gotcha!

Anyway, I thought I’d go through their ToS and try to understand them clearly. This is my glib summary of them: this is not a legal document, and DA is not responsible for my interpretation. If you use DA, you’re responsible for reading their Terms of Service and understanding them.


  1. DA is what it is, and it can go away at any time. You agree you won’t sue DA for quitting.
  2. Read DA’s privacy policy.
  3. Anything marked as DA or third-party belongs to DA or third parties. You’re not granted rights to DA or those third parties.
  4. DA owns all copyright and data rights in its service. Individuals had better be copyright owners of their work or are posting with license. Users can’t copy and use others’ works without permission from the owner. DA doesn’t own your work. You agree not to share or modify anything belongs to DA.
  5. DA may remove your content and terminate your account if you violate IP rights. If someone’s violating your copyright, write to Daniel Sowers,, with these materials:
    a. signature of owner or representative
    b. location of the violator’s work
    c. location of your source material
    d. your contact information (especially email)
    e. your good-faith statement that your work is being used without authorization
    f. your assertion that everything you’ve provided is accurate
  6. DA links to third-party websites. You agree that DA isn’t responsible for your going there and you assume all risk.
  7. DA sometimes uses third-party software. By downloading and using it, you acknowledge that it is what it is and DA isn’t responsible for damages.
  8. You will not interfere with the operation of DA or lie to DA. DA doesn’t endorse any content here or services by third parties. You agree DA isn’t responsible for any damages for using DA.
  9. DA doesn’t promise anything. You agree to accept all risk for using DA and DA is responsible for nothing.
  10. DA can rewrite these Terms any time it likes and send notification to registered members. If you don’t like it, then stop using DA.
  11. The ToS are your entire agreement with DA. If DA doesn’t enforce something, that doesn’t give you permission to exploit it. If a court points out anything is bullshit, you’re still responsible for the rest of it. You can’t deflect your responsibility without DA’s written consent. Interpretation of the ToS aligns with California law.
  12. Questions? Email
  13. You have to be 13 or older to enter this contract with DA. You promise you’re not lying. If you give DA a false email address, they can’t contact you.
  14. You’re responsible for your password security. If someone hacks it, let DA know immediately.
  15. Registered members can participate in chat rooms and forums. You can only post stuff you have legal right to. Read up on the Submission Policy before sharing your artwork.
  16. DA doesn’t claim copyright of your work. You grant DA a license (not exclusive, not paid) to share your work on DA. Note that other people can grab your shit on DA. If people share your work without linking to your source material, that could violate term #4.
  17. DA can’t control what you post and has no obligation to monitor you. You acknowledge you’re on the hook for what you post.
  18. DA provides free storage (FOR NOW) for your content. You agree that DA may limit what you share, how long it’ll be stored, and how much you can post. You acknowledge that DA can delete inactive accounts and DA can rewrite its policy on this without telling you. This doesn’t affect the broadest interpretation of term #9.
  19. You agree to behave. You’re responsible for everything you share and post. You won’t post or copy anything if you don’t have the right to, even if you find it on other websites, magazines, books, or any other source. Read DA’s Copyright Policy.
    a. You won’t break the law using DA.
    b. You won’t post offensive, threatening, libelous, private, pornographic, or otherwise objectionable shit.
    c. You won’t post anything that violates someone else’s rights, trademarks, patents, or moral rights.
    d. You won’t post anything that represents harm to underage children.
    e. You won’t forge or crop out headers, watermarks, logos, or anything that identifies the origin of artwork.
    f. You won’t upload viruses and malware.
    g. You won’t use DA for commercial activities (except as the ToS allows).
    h. You won’t sell people DA accounts or use DA on another website for ads or subscriptions, except on blogs where mainly you’re linking to DA content and not trying to compete with it.

19A. Commercial activities means offering, soliciting, or selling goods by anyone other than DA. Registered members (individuals and small businesses) can promote their artwork or to contract a registered artist. DA has another section about paid advertisements. No other commercial activities are permitted; you’re responsible for any activities you engage with.

19B. As a registered member, you could be an admin or member of a Group.

  1. You agree to the Group’s rules, consistent with DA’s rules and anything DA thinks up about Groups.
  2. Whether an admin or participant, you don’t own the Group.
  3. Anything shared with the Group remains the property of the person who shared it, if they have legal right to it. It doesn’t become the Group’s property.
  4. Groups are managed by registered users and not DA. DA isn’t responsible for running the Group, and DA won’t interfere with the Group as long as its rules go along with DA’s rules.
  5. You can’t use Groups for data-mining without the other users’ expressly stated permission.
  6. DA can intervene if a Group breaks DA’s rules. DA can shut a group down at any moment.
  7. If a Group names itself after a brand name or trademark, and the brand/trademark owner objects, DA will rename the group. If Groups want to include a brand name or trademark in their name, they have to describe in the name how it’s being used. Example: “Master Photoshop Tutorials” instead of just “Photoshop.”

20. You agree that DA can delete you and your content with or without notice at any moment or disrupt any transaction you make, if you break DA’s rules or applicable law.

21. Sometimes DA offers things for sale through the DA Shop. Payments will be made in US dollars. Postage and taxes will be added to your order. Prices don’t include import duties. Delivery dates are only estimated.

DA accepts returns on broken products or incorrect orders within 30 days: write us at and we’ll give you instructions. DA won’t refund original shipping charges but will reimburse shipping on returned products. You’ll get a refund within 24 hours, paid back the way you paid. In general, everything purchased through the shop will be accepted as it is, except for the exceptions listed in term #21.

  1. DA allows crypto through third-party software. You agree that DA is just the middleman. Use crypto at your own risk; DA recommends you read about it first. Any provider could use a variety of crypto, but DA decides which it’ll permit. Don’t be stupid about this—DA won’t be responsible. Be aware that DA could end any crypto service at any time. Again, you’re assuming all risk. DA may issue refunds if it feels like it.

    Using crypto means fluctuating exchange rates and service fees. DA will take service fees from your earnings account, and these are nonrefundable. Other transactions may involve additional fees by the crypto provider. BitPay’s a-whole-nother deal, read up on it carefully.

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